From where will funds for loan waiver come? asks Advani

March 4th, 2008 - 12:07 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) Welcoming the Rs.600 billion loan waiver announced for farmers, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Monday asked the government from where it proposed to get the huge amount. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Advani sought clarifications from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about from where would the money come.

“It is good to give relief to the farmers. What about the small and marginal farmers, who are more dependent on non-institutional financial agencies, and how and from which source his government would get the money for the promised loan waiver to farmers,” Advani said.

Speaking in support of the motion of thanks on the president’s opening address, the Leader of Opposition said indebtedness was not the only reason driving farmers to suicide. There were other contributory factors like the rising costs of living, unaffordable education and healthcare. He asked the government to explain what it was doing to deal with these issues.

“Inflation has upset the family budget. Women are the worst affected because they take care of the family budget,” Advani said.

“There are 20 Indians who earn more than what 300 million poor do. I am not averse to the growth of 20 people. Nobody is opposed if the country is growing, but the growth should be inclusive in more ways than one,” Advani said.

“The president’s speech gives the impression that it is the last one before the elections,” Advani said, adding that his party had no problems in going to the polls.

On the issue of creation of a separate state of Telangana, Advani said the government should have tried to build a consensus on the issue as it had promised creation of the state earlier.

“The National Democratic Alliance acted swiftly when the respective state governments recommended for the creation of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand,” he said.

“The prime minister should clarify the government’s stand on women’s reservation and creation of Telangana. We are ready to support bills on these issues in whichever form the government tables them,” he said.

All four MPs of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) resigned from the Lok Sabha Monday in protest against the central government’s failure to carve out a separate state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh. The BJP and Shiv Sena supported the cause in the house.

The BJP has espoused the cause of women’s reservation with new zeal after it gave 33 percent reservation to women in the party cadre.

He also sought to know from the government the action taken against those who perpetrated terror acts in Mumbai, Malegaon, Hyderabad, Bangalore and other places.

“Since 2004 onwards, there had been a marked increase in terror activities,” Advani said, asking what the government had done about Afzal Guru, sentenced to the gallows for the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament.

As the ruling members created a ruckus reminding Advani that he was then the country’s home minister, he shot back saying that the terrorists were killed on the spot by the security personnel.

The ruling members erupted again when Advani questioned the rationale behind naming all government programmes after Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi.

“Is there any dearth of great leaders in our country after whom the government can name some programmes? Why a scheme cannot be named after P.V. Narasimha Rao in whose government our prime minister was a cabinet minister,” Advani asked.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who will reply to the debate on the motion of thanks for the president’s address Tuesday, was the finance minister in Rao’s government.

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